Former Rattler breaks into industry

First there was Karamo Brown getting a taste of the spotlight on the “The Real World.” Now, there’s another former Rattler getting to taste “the truth.” “The Truth Tour” that is.

Known around campus as Rico Love, he is a native of Milwaukee, but lived in Harlem before his journey to Florida A&M and stardom.

While Usher’s “The Truth Tour,” featuring Kanye West and Christina Milian, was in Tallahassee Tuesday, Love, who will not disclose his real name, made it a homecoming experience to visit FAMU.

Love said it all started in Paddyfote Complex while he was sitting outside of the dorm rapping and freestyling with other dorm mates. He said he came back to FAMU for the concert to visit and to take a look back at where it all started. Looking back at college, he remembers Paddyfote the most.

“Paddyfote was like the real projects,” Love said. “I’m from the projects, so I wasn’t so far removed. It’s like family. I love it.”

Being from the “projects,” Love used FAMU as a way to stay off of the streets and stay out of trouble.

“I would tell people that school was just to pass time until I got a record deal,” Love said.

Knowing dreams do come true, Love knew FAMU was the place to be. During the FAMU 2001 homecoming concert, Love was introduced to his soon-to-be best friend Edward “Young Dirty” Long, who is host of WAMN 90.5 “SGA Talk.” Long’s history in the music and entertainment industry helped Love meet just the right people to get him started.

As Love’s career was starting, his school days were ending. As he was just getting into his major of broadcast journalism, Love left FAMU after his third year to pursue his dreams in the music and entertainment industry. He moved to Atlanta and signed with Usher’s record label, Usher Records, after performing at a showcase. That is where he said he met the multi-platinum singer who could not resist signing Love.

After signing with Usher Records, Love noticed that it real ly was not how he thought it was going to be. He was making music but was not getting paid. After a sit down with Usher, he and Love decided it was time for him to write. Love wrote “Throwback,” the third track on Usher’s “Confessions” album. From that day, he said he has been making his mark by touring with Usher.

Love said the tour is a blessing.

“I get to perform every night with Usher,” he said. “Most can say they opened for him, but I get to perform onstage with him on songs that I wrote, every night.”

Love said he gets excited when he hears over 20,000 fans screaming the songs that he wrote for Usher.

Although Love is not in school, he described the tour as an every day learning experience. He said that he does not really miss FAMU, but he does miss his friends. He added FAMU was a great place to learn about life and he takes his college experiences with him on tour.

Love is the first artist signed to Usher’s label. His single is due out in January 2005 on J Records, which is home to Alicia Keys and Jill Scott, among others.

For more information on Love and Usher, you can visit

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